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Preview — Null-ABC by H. Beam Piper
Literate First Class Elliot C. Mongery, revealed by a quick left quarter-turn of the pickup camera, wore the same starchy white smock, the same Sam Browne belt glittering with the badges of the organizations and corporations for whom he was authorized to practice Literacy. The tablet on his belt, Pelton knew, was really a camouflaged holster for a small automatic, and the gold stylus was a gas-projector. The black-leather-jacketed bodyguards, of course, were discreetly out
The title refers to the largely Illiterate society (yes, it is supposed to be capitalized) in the story. People became suspicious of literacy and books after a few more World Wars and nuclear holocausts. The authors also blame "progressive education" for giving TV and audio recordings instead of textbooks. However, the society grudgingly admits tha ...more